Rainbo Belton

My work involves the development of DNA barcoding markers and SNP libraries sequenced on high throughput sequencing (HTS) platforms. These genetic tools are used for plant identification, population genetics and forensic applications. Within the timber tracking projects this enables us to determine what species a piece of timber or furniture is, where it came from, and to match disparate samples of the same individual, e.g. different pieces of timber, or leaf and bark (an individualization test). The DNA barcoding markers, particularly the low copy nuclear genes (LCNG), are utilized in biodiversity projects to aid in identification and test for hybridization.

I am particularly interested in determining species boundaries using molecular and morphological techniques. I am currently completing my PhD studies at Murdoch University on the taxonomy and systematics of marine plants. I completed my undergraduate degree BSc (Hons) at the University of Melbourne with Honours research on marine ethnobotany in Vanuatu. My publications to date address evolutionary relationships in brown algae, biogeography, species delimitation and discovery, as well as invasive marine plants.